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Civic Museum

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52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada

Civic 2

Celebrating Guelph’s stories!

The Guelph Civic Museum showcases Guelph’s history through permanent and changing exhibits, a fun and interactive families gallery, and special events and activities.  Located in the recently renovated Loretto Convent, atop the hill at Norfolk Street and beside the landmark Church of Our Lady, the museum is home to a collection of over 30,000 artifacts that bring Guelph’s past to life.

2012

Guelph Civic Museum opens at 52 Norfolk Street, the former Loretto Convent.

2000

The “Growing Up in Guelph Children’s Museum” opens at the Civic Museum. The popular children’s gallery attracts many more visitors and significantly increases the number of family memberships.

1980

Guelph Civic Museum opens at 6 Dublin Street South, a commercial limestone building built c.1855. The building had many uses over the years but was most recently known as the Knights of Columbus Hall.

1967

Canada’s Centennial Year. The Museum opens in its first home in the horse stables, now the Farmer’s Market.

1960’s

Members of the Guelph Historical Society begin to collect artifacts and displays are mounted in store fronts and community centres.

Upcoming Events

August 2018

Revelations from the Collection 

August 14, 2018 @ 10:00 am - January 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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A revealing look, through photography, at selected artifacts from the collections featuring ordinary objects made extraordinary.

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September 2018

Brewing Changes Guelph

September 15, 2018 @ 10:00 am - February 24, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Label illustration and design: Lind Design Reception: Friday, September 28 | 6:30 PM Brewing Changes Guelph examines the social and economic importance of brewing beer in the Royal City and the changes brought about by the rise, fall and resurrection of Guelph breweries. Whether one has worked in the brewing industry or has never tasted beer before, visitors will learn how brewing has benefitted and continues to benefit our city. The story begins with whiskey, early independent innkeepers and entrepreneurs,…

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October 2018

Coming Home: First World War at 100 Years

October 30, 2018 @ 10:00 am - January 27, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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November 11, 1918 at 11:00 a.m. marked the profound but symbolic end to the four-year conflict on the Western Front. After the last gun sounded, an eerie quiet must have greeted the soldiers along the front lines. The world was finally ready for peace. In Guelph, people celebrated the end of the First World War but grieved the loss of over 250 local men and women who died in the conflict. Families looked forward to their loved ones returning home…

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November 2018

Winter Wonderful: The Game of Carpet Ball

November 16, 2018 @ 10:00 am - February 13, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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During the cold winter months, both children and adults engage in seasonal outdoor activities, such as hockey or tobogganing. Winter evenings are often spent indoors, playing board games or watching movies. A hundred years ago, the game of carpet ball was a popular winter sport, played inside of course! Similar in gameplay to curling and bowling, carpet ball was especially popular in Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but the game has existed for thousands of years.…

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December 2018

Downtown EarlyON Playtime

December 19 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)
Weekly, Wednesdays
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

New weekly program offerings for children from 0 to 6 years old and their families, offered through the EarlyON Child and Family Centre. Beginning Wednesday, September 5, Guelph Civic Museum will become the Downtown EarlyON Playtime location with free drop in family programming that promotes early learning and development from 9:30 to 11:30 AM on a weekly basis. The EarlyON Child and Family Centre at the Guelph Community Health Centre has been in existence since 2003. EarlyON have eight off-site…

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EarlyON Downtown Playtime

December 19 @ 9:30 am - 11:30 am
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:30am on Wednesday, repeating until February 27, 2019

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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FREE

Weekly program offerings for children from 0 to 6 years old and their families, offered through the EarlyON Child and Family Centre. Beginning Wednesday, September 5, Guelph Civic Museum will become the Downtown EarlyON Playtime location with free drop in family programming that promotes early learning and development from 9:30 to 11:30 AM on a weekly basis. The EarlyON Child and Family Centre at the Guelph Community Health Centre has been in existence since 2003. EarlyON have eight off-site Neighbourhood Playtimes and…

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January 2019

An Evening of Storytelling

January 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
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An event every month that begins at 7:00pm on day First of the month, repeating until April 3, 2019

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Join Guelph Guild of Storytellers and special guests on the first Wednesday of each month.

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Tales from the Hill

January 2, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on January 2, 2019 at 7:00pm

One event on February 6, 2019 at 7:00pm

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Join Guelph Guild of Storytellers and special guests on the first Wednesday of each month. Free admission.

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Favourite Family Games

January 6, 2019
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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The tradition continues….try your hand at board games, toys and puzzles all day, every day during the holidays.

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Military Lecture: Before Shell Shock

January 17, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Amy Milne-Smith presents, Before Shell Shock: Failed Minds and Failing Men in the 19th century British Military. Looking at contemporary ideas of insanity and the potential dangers for men at war from the Crimea to the Boer War provides an important context to the voluminous literature on battle fatigue and the First World War. However, any attempt to “find” examples shell shock or PTSD in the nineteenth-century archive is an ill-fated search. Doctors often failed to determine or record the cause…

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School’s Out, Museum’s In PD Day – En Français!

January 18, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Contes chanson et bricos en français avec Colette.

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Celebrating Robbie Burns: Storytelling

January 20, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 11:45 am
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Join us as we celebrate Robbie Burns Day at the Civic Museum! Family storytelling at 11 AM with Scottish entertainer, Seamus Gunn, who will be telling traditional stories such as How the thistle saved Scotland, Bruce and the Spider, and Why the Saltaire is our flag. General admission.

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Celebrating Robbie Burns: Scotch Tasting

January 20, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$40

A new offering this year for Robbie Burns Day! Join us in celebration of Robert Burns, “Scotland’s Favourite Son”, with a Scotch tasting, haggis, and traditional Scottish music performed by the Riverside Celtic College Alumni. We will taste a flight of 2 Scotch samples and learn about the different aromas, flavours, and aging techniques from scotch aficionado Norm Litchfield. Limited capacity, tickets in advance.  

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Fourth Friday: Bob MacLean

January 25, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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FREE

Kick off your weekend with a performance by Bob MacLean! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Bob MacLean at 7 p.m. Bob MacLean is an Event Guitarist, Celtic/Classical Guitarist & Folksinger with roots in Cape Breton (Glace Bay) and Quebec. He’s been playing guitar for as long as he can remember and his interest and passion for the guitar have only grown over the years.…

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Decolonizing Guelph’s Founding Story

January 29, 2019 - April 28, 2019
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Indigenizing Galt

January 29, 2019 - April 28, 2019
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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What’s Changed in the Brewing Industry: Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and Beyond

January 29, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Panel discussion with brewing industry experts led by Brewing Changes Guelph guest curator Eric Payseur. Admission by donation. Cash bar. Brewing Changes Guelph examines the social and economic importance of brewing beer in the Royal City and the changes brought about by the rise, fall and resurrection of Guelph breweries. Whether one has worked in the brewing industry or has never tasted beer before, visitors will learn how brewing has benefitted and continues to benefit our city.

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February 2019

School’s Out, Museum’s In PD Day – Winter crafts and stories

February 1, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Winter crafts and stories at 1 PM, plus other special activities all day long.

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Valentine’s Tea

February 10, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 10, 2019 at 3:00pm

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$15

Treat your sweetheart to a warm cup of tea, decadent sweets, and delightful company. Enjoy fresh scones, jam, shortbread cookies, fresh fruit and bottomless pots of McCrae Private Blend and Guelph Town Garden Blend teas. While at the museum, visit the current galleries and exhibitions, including Brewing Changes Guelph. There will be two seatings, 1 and 3 PM. Tickets in advance.

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Guelph Symphony Orchestra – Carmen and the Bubbblegum Factory

February 17, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on February 17, 2019 at 4:00pm

Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Guelph Symphony Orchestra presents this children's version of the famous opera by Bizet specially tailored to young families. To accommodate all visitors there will be two performances, 3 PM and another at 4 PM. Free admission starting at 2 PM at the Guelph Civic Museum.

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Febulous! Start the Music

February 21, 2019 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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$20
Febulous! 2019

Cocktail party, live music, and live auction. Funds raised will support Free Fourth Friday concerts, providing affordable access to museum experiences for the community, while supporting emerging artists with paying gigs that help to build profile and launch careers. Tickets go live Tuesday, January 8, 10 AM! Wondering what’s up for auction this year at Febulous! Start the Music? Check back soon!

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Fourth Friday: Aisha Barrow

February 22, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Free

Kick off your weekend with a performance by Aisha Barrow! On the Fourth Friday of the month, Guelph Museums offers free admission to the Guelph Civic Museum after 5 p.m. Performance by Aisha Barrow at 7 p.m. Aisha Barrow is an up and coming singer, songwriter and performer. Hailing from Guelph, Ontario, she has a bold and fresh new sound that draws its inspiration from her roots. Born in Saudi Arabia, yet culturally from The Republic of Gambia she combines the rich musical…

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Reading Galt

February 26, 2019 - June 23, 2019
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Lacrosse: The Creator’s Game

February 26, 2019 - June 23, 2019
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Military Lecture: Spiritualism and the First World War

February 28, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Kyle Falcon presents, Spiritualism and the First World War. Offered in partnership with the Laurier Centre for Military, Strategic and Disarmament Studies. Admission by donation. This talk will focus on British spiritualism, psychical research and the Great War. Spiritualism, which can be defined as the belief in communicating with the dead, usually through the seance, saw a surge of popularity during and after the war. Falcon will focus on the ways in which the British population tried to unite science and religion in the…

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March 2019

Yakon:kwe

March 9, 2019 @ 10:00 am - May 19, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Guest curated by the Council of Indigenous Women (Kim Anderson, Chelsea Brant, Brittany Luby, and Cara Wehkamp).

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Indianized

March 9, 2019 @ 10:00 am - May 19, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Guest curated by Naomi Smith.

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Military Lecture: Riding into Battle

March 28, 2019 @ 7:00 pm
Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk Street
Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8 Canada
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Admission by donation

Ted Glenn presents, Riding into Battle: Canadian Cyclists in the Great War. Speaker Ted Glenn will draw on his forthcoming book on Canada’s Great War Cyclists when he presents the eighth annual Toronto History Lecture. The story of Canadian Cyclists in the Great War is largely unknown. Drafted between 1914 and 1916, these troops spent most of the war digging trenches, patrolling roads, and delivering dispatches. Based on personal diaries, memoirs, and newspaper accounts, the lecture addresses the Cyclists’ early war…

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